Feedback from Lando Norris and other Formula 1 drivers has helped Codemasters make F1 2020 more realistic in several ways, according to the developer.
This has led to changes in the handling of the cars, the Energy Recovery System and even the reproductions of the circuits, Codemasters’ Formula 1 director Lee Mather explained.
“We get feedback from the drivers quite regularly,” he said. “Normally when we get together with the drivers at events they’ll come and talk to us. Obviously at the moment we’ve got more drivers than ever playing the game on a regular basis so the level of feedback that we’re getting now is probably greater than we’ve ever had.”
One noticeable change in the upcoming new edition of the game, which RaceFans has played a preview version of, is an overhaul of the Energy Recovery System. This was prompted by feedback Norris gave them at an F1 Esports event.
“He was saying ‘your ERS deployment stuff is too complicated'” Mather explained. “He said ‘That’s not what we do, we don’t have to worry about that. The teams create a map for the car and then they tell me where I’ve got the overtake and when I haven’t got the overtake and I can use the additional power.'”
That functionality, and the ability for the driver to over-ride it, is now built into F1 2020. “We’ve implemented a system where the AI now handle that and that’s then presented to the player as well so the player’s car is mapped in the same way.
“They have the potential to use the overtake button. So if you want to go a bit racy, you can deploy the extra energy, obviously to the detriment of batteries – you’ve got less for the following laps or the following corners.”
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
Other observations offered by drivers on F1 2019 referred to areas of the game Codemasters had already addressed for its upcoming sequel, said Mather.Charles [Leclerc] comment on the end sector at Catalunya, how the circuit wasn’t 100 percent correct. We’d actually already made those changes in 2020, we were aware that there was an issue with some of the height deviation.”
Codemasters believe they’ve also made “massive gains” in simulating the handling of F1 cars.
“Something that we’ve really taken on board by watching the VGPs [Virtual Grands Prix] has been how they are talking about the traction, the way the traction comes and goes, certainly on acceleration and also how it works in the braking zones. We’re really pleased because we’ve actually made significant changes in those areas this year already.
“Those braking distances now are way more realistic, they’re very Formula 1. The traction out the corners, again, is massively improved.
“This isn’t just changes to the tyre model, this is actually inertia changes to the physics: The calculations that we use to calculate the inertia in the wheel of the tyre. Obviously that un-sprung mass is quite heavy and travelling at those speeds it requires a huge amount of force to break it, to slow the car down.”
Intriguingly, one driver told them F1 2019 felt more realistic with the traction control assist switched on.
“The driver feedback was ‘I don’t have the confidence on the throttle that I think I should have’. In fact, some of the feedback we had recently was they say that in a modern Formula 1 car the feeling of getting on the throttle is very similar to how our game in ’19 would have been if you had medium traction control on.
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
The team is pleased with the realism gains it has made based on the feedback from drivers.
“How the grip comes and goes, how manageable it is – or how not manageable it is at certain times – how the braking distance is, they don’t feel they’ve got enough traction for the brakes.
“We’ve made massive gains there. It feels grippier, it feels tighter, it feels, as the drivers said, more like a Formula 1 car should.”
Note: All images and footage show the game in an unfinished state.
Video: F1 2020 First Play
More videos from our first play of F1 2020 are being published over the coming days. Find them all on RaceFans’ YouTube page:
Go ad-free for just £1 per month
- “F1 2021”: The official Formula 1 game reviewed
- Giovinazzi and Norris are most-improved drivers in F1 2021 ratings
- The Porsche you can play F1 2020 on – and quite a bit more
- Why F1 2021 will be far more expensive for some – and three tracks will be missing at launch
- Moto GP 21 – The official Moto GP game reviewed